The human papillomavirus 16, or HPV 16, has been implicated in causing cervical and other urogenital cancers, according to WebMD. This virus and another virus, HPV 18, are believed to cause as much as 70 percent of all cervical cancers.
The HPV 16 can cause cervical cancer because it causes the cells in the cervix, or the mouth of the uterus, to become abnormal, says WebMD. The virus penetrates the epithelial cells of the cervix and starts to make proteins, two of which are known to damage the cells, according to the National Cancer Institute. If the body doesn't destroy these abnormal cells, they can progress to becoming precancerous or malignant.